Welcome to this week’s And finally, your roundup of the stories you may have missed in the last seven days. With IFA 2019 nearing on the horizon, there’s been plenty to talk about.
Garmin officially unveiled its new Instinct Tactical Edition, but details of its Vivoactive 4 and a bunch of other models leaked with rather less planning. Misfit also announced the Vapor X, and Snap detailed its third-gen Spectacles. Finally, the UK’s NHS is planning to give out fitness trackers to combat diabetes.
We’ve dug up another burst of stories for your reading pleasure below, but you can always check out our dedicated news section to find out what’s been happening in wearables.
Huawei could unveil AR glasses at IFA
We’ve known for a while that Huawei is working on AR glasses – CEO Richard Yu said as much in November 2018.
It’s already dipped its toe in the smartglasses market with the Eyewear range, but hasn’t yet moved into AR, sticking to glasses with speakers and smart assistants. Rumours are now circulating that Huawei will bring its next generation glasses to IFA, after announcing them back in March.
The future is now! Together with Gentle Monster we have joined forces to take your wearable intelligence to the next level with #HUAWEI X GENTLE MONSTER EYEWEAR. #RewriteTheRulespic.twitter.com/heRlJdnMDa
â Huawei Mobile UK (@HuaweiMobileUK) March 26, 2019
Huawei has filed two patent applications for devices under the names Huawei AR Glass and Huawei VR Glass, suggesting that progress is being made on the various models of glasses that it’s working on. We’re expecting them to again include a voice assistant, although which one will be an interesting debate, given Huawei’s struggles with Google, and introduction of its own new OS, HarmonyOS.
From the looks of things these models will be more typical than the odd smartwatch-powered ones detailed earlier this year, thankfully. If we see the new glasses at IFA, we’ll be sure to let you know all the key details.
Apple facing an impending 10% wearable import tax in the US
The Trump administration takes no prisoners, as Apple will find out again in September, when new 10% import tariffs on all smartwatches, smart speakers, fitness trackers and Bluetooth headphones come into force.
Apple already has suspended tariffs on smartphones and laptops hanging over it, slated to being in December. On 10 September, the new measures should activate. Apple does masses of manufacturing in China, whether that’s for the Apple Watch or AirPods. Smartwatches and fitness trackers had been exempted from tariffs after industry appeals last year, but it looks like that was a temporary measure.
Given the increasing importance of wearables to Apple’s strategy, this could be quite a body blow for the Cupertino giant. Time will tell if the tariff’s costs can be absorbed by Apple and its partners, or whether this will result in price increases for customers.
Check out our favourite Apple Watch apps to download now.
Britvic’s been working on a simple wearable hydration tracker
Most people can empathize with the struggle to remain hydrated, whether in the middle of a run or just sitting at a desk all day forgetting to keep drinking water.
The tracker will monitor heart rate and hydration with similar techniques, shining LEDs through your skin, and will also keep track of activity levels, calories burnt and sleep tracking, according to Sixty. It’ll feature a simple visual indicator of your hydration level at any one time on its cleanly-designed face, and can be used as a periodical check or worn constantly on a strap as desired.
We should have more details closer to the device’s launch, which is slated for 2020.
Britvic isn’t the only company that wants to help us keep tabs on our hydration. Gatorade is using wearable sweat trackers to help provide athletes with critical hydration insights.
Mood tracking wearable to represent Britain at CES 2020
There’s no downside to being open about mental health, a viewpoint championed by British tech startup Moonbeam, makers of a simple mood-tracking wearable.
The tracker has no display, and a simple two-button interface to let you log your mood whenever you feel like it, to be tracked in a companion app. It can help to give you a sense for your mood over time, and how certain activities might affect it.
The tech’s winning admirers all over the shop, and is currently on trial at football clubs, banks, law firms and more. It’ll also have pride of place at CES next year, having been confirmed as part of the lineup at the British pavilion for the trade show.